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Strong first half delivers All-Star rewards for Brewers

Strong first half delivers All-Star rewards for Brewers

MINNEAPOLIS - When starters are introduced Tuesday night during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, the Milwaukee Brewers will be the only team with a representation of three players.

"It means we're playing well," said third baseman Aramis Ramirez who is batting sixth in the National League lineup. "We have multiple All-Stars means your team is doing pretty well and we are right now, we are in first place."

The 53-43 Brewers have held that top spot in the N.L. Central for most of the first half of the season. With that first half success came three All-Star starters, four selections in all.

"To get that kind of respect is something that is nice to have," said catcher Jonathan Lucroy who will hit eighth for the N.L. Tuesday. "That just means you have a good team. We've been successful pretty much all year, we've been roughed up these past few weeks, but as a majority and as a whole we've been pretty good.

"So I think if we can continue to do that, we can continue to show everybody why we have three guys in the starting lineup for the All-Star game."

For Lucroy, it's his first All-Star selection.

"I'm really looking forward to it. Really enjoying it. This is a great honor to have and a great honor to be voted in by my peers. Obviously that means a lot to me and I definitely appreciate it so I'm going to try to enjoy it the best I can."

When starting lineups were announced on Monday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny who is serving as manager for the National League had all three Brewers at the bottom of the lineup. The players were quick to dismiss any ill-will coming from a rival manager of theirs.

"I'm happy. I'm in the lineup and starting. Get to tomorrow and play and try to get that 'W'," said Carlos Gomez who says he's batting ninth for the first time since his days with the Minnesota Twins.

"You know you are going to have the opportunity to have two or three at-bats, probably more because when you are hitting ninth you stay in the game longer."

"You've got guys and the kind of lineup we have, I'm just glad to be in there somewhere," said Lucroy.

"I'll be the batboy if that's what it takes."

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